Monday, April 4, 2016

Evening Tide Scarf in Diadem - Behind the Needles Design

I just saw that Knit Picks Diadem is on sale this month! I know I haven't been very diverse with my yarn recommendations but Evening Tide actually looks pretty good in Diadem as well as Hawthorne.
In fact I developed the scarf using the one skein of Diadem that had come in the sampler pack I purchased way back.

Diadem is very soft and somewhat delicate. IMHO it doesn't take ripping back very well so it is best to have a solid pattern for knitting with it. The evolution of Evening Tide started with experimenting with lace bias to see if I could get an interesting twist. But something strange happened.

The left side is unblocked and giving the interesting texture that I was looking for but as I was knitting I felt uneasy so I blocked the right side. The yarn just relaxed on down, so chill. It stopped looking good to me. Darn!

I decided then I needed to force the twist, thus the cabling was added.

Did I rip and re-knit when I had the pattern? Ah no. I didn't think that the yarn could take it. I saw Hawthorne and thought, bounce, twist, and color, yes! I finished the development of Evening Tide in Hawthorne.

My Diadem Evening Tide scarf/swatch went to my up and coming top model.

The fabric is so light and wispy. Every time I pick it up I rub it on my cheeks. If I had more time, I would knit another properly in Diadem for myself. It is that mmmmmm.

PS: Knit Picks did not ask me to advertise Diadem. But if they would like to send a skein my way, they have my address! Ha ha!  (Yeah I know, I have to develop another pattern for it for yarn support. Whew! On my list.)

PPS: I can't recommend Diadem for Evening Tide Mitts. I don't think it has the durability and I'm not sure about the blocking droopy factor for the mitts. 

What's on your needles this spring?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just when I was getting the hang of knitting - CFF 2016

Last weekend was so much fun. Easter, the Carolina Fiber Festival (CFF), and my birthday all collided together!

There was a bit of this done at the festival:

No, that's not mine but my youngest daughter's work. Two different ladies at two different vendors gave her lessons on the spot on how to use a drop spindle and to weave. So nice!

The weaving rig was so brilliant, that I had to take a (blurry phone) picture to remember it. Maybe I can make one of these at home. It uses twelve popsicle sticks!

So what did I buy this year? Well I finally caved in and bought some bunny sock yarn this year. Oh and another thing with my birthday money:

Mmmm, look at that pink! (Don't ask me when I'm going to have time to knit that, whew. But it will happen! I want that on my feet next winter. LOL.)

And uh, I should never say never but I really don't want another hobby! This is for dd I keep saying. Yeah. They taught her the lessons that I overheard. Yep, that's my story about the new toy...

Meantime, it's back to the knitting and beading of the new scarf. Just how many beads is too many? Have I gone overboard (again)? We'll just have to see.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fresh Yarn Support

Spring is almost here and it's nice to start with some new yarn support!

One of the nice perks of being a designer is being supplied yarn to keep my fevered brain working. Last post I showed you the first attempt at a new scarf, I called Little River. I proposed that design to the Knit Picks IDP (Independent Designer Program) but said yeah, I'd really like to make that longer and in a different color. They said yes and now I have more Preciosa to work with, mmmm!

I also decided to expand the design and my skills. I'm trying to add beads for the first time. So we shall see how this variation works out.

But first, Easter preparations are happening around here and secret knitting that must be done by early April. Soon soon my Preciosa pretty will happen.

Monday, February 22, 2016

February is for knitting

January and February are not my favorite months. It's the time of year when family members get sick and this year was no exception. Not only did I worry over everyone but I caught the bug too.

I read some articles like this one that talk about how helpful knitting is. That must be why I keep a project going in the dark months.

I have been distracted away from knitting too. I've been tasked to update our church's website. This photo is my favorite. It's a shelf in the office library with the prayer shawls and baptism and communion items.

For knitting, I joined the Craftsy Sock Knit-A-Long, but haven't gotten very far with the first sock:

Do you see the texture in the center there? There are two pattern rows that have DW2 or double-wrap 2 maneuvers to create the bumps. That pattern was supposed to be continued down the leg. I found it much too fiddly! It was hard but I finally gave myself permission to just. not. do. that. It's my sock I can knit it plain if I want to! LOL! Sometimes it's so hard to free yourself especially when you wanted to follow the pattern (which is beautiful). But that's Three Irish Girls yarn and it's going to be a nice pair of socks anyway.

For January knitting, while dd was ill and I was worrying. I needed something calming, one page of instruction, nothing too hard, but nothing too boring, and only one skein (or maybe two). I got out my big needles and came up with this cutie scarf:

I call it Little River. It's in Knit Picks Preciosa. One skein gave a generous 42" in length. But I feel I need to test it again with two skeins this time and make it a luxurious 60 to 72".

Even though there are cables and lace and I am the slowest knitter, this scarf flowed right off my needles. That's usually my sign to go ahead and publish the design. :-)

I'm open to testers. If you are a knitter and would like to make this scarf for a test, email me at krollins at gmail dot com (after forming that into a proper address). I will send out five test copies. Thank you.

Here's to knitting forward into Spring!

Monday, January 18, 2016

And so I finished them

Yes, the hubby's 2015 socks are finished in early 2016!

Sorry for the blurry indoor picture. The socks walked off pretty quickly.

Will he get another pair for 2016? Maybe, maybe not. He's been bugging me for arm warmers so we shall see.

Right now, I've got a new scarf design on the needles and another sock (for me, heh heh). I'm following the January Craftsy sock KAL with Lucy Neatby.

But I look in my forlorn bag of socks with holes and I may have to start mending them. I think I'm going to use this awesome tutorial that is making the rounds of Pinterest and Facebook.

Stay warm, keep knitting!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

And so it is that I didn't quite finish the dh's socks.

It was a bit of a strange time that I finished the thing-that-I-can't-show-you and got into another round of swatches that-I-can't-show-you. Such is the life of a designer!

I hope you had a great holiday and will have a blessed new year.

Stay tuned, more knits and other adventures to come. :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

And the work continues ... with cookies

Apologies for the long silence. I have been in heads down secret knitting and prepping for the holidays.

I am excited that one of my designer goals has been fulfilled, to win a proposal submission! They are very competitive and I feel fortunate that one of my designs was selected. Now I am in the midst of the work. So far it's going well. All will be revealed in mid 2016!

Here are some cookies to look at:

Toll House Cookie Brittle

I baked three pans for our church's Christmas cookie sale. Have a blessed season. Keep warm. Keep knitting.